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Xcel Energy Expands Plans to Add Wind Farm Capacity to 3,380 MW

LCG, March 23, 2017--Xcel Energy yesterday announced plans to make the largest multi-state investment in wind capacity in the country. The proposed plan is expected to increase the amount of wind energy in the Xcel's energy mix by 2021, with wind fueling nearly 35 percent of its total energy mix.

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First Solar Starts Operations of the 250-MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project

LCG, March 22, 2017--First Solar, Inc. Friday held the commissioning ceremony for the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, located approximately 30 miles north of Las Vegas on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The power generated by the 250-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project will be purchased under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power(LADWP).

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Industry News

Los Angeles Announces Solar LA

LCG, November 26, 2008--City of Los Angeles officials, together with representatives of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), yesterday announced an aggressive plan, Solar LA, to develop nearly 1,300 MW of solar electric generating capacity.

Solar LA is presented as the largest solar plan undertaken by any single city in the world. The planned solar capacity is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs. The published plan estimates that every 10 MW of solar can create 200 to 400 jobs, which would lead to approximately 26,000 to 52,000 jobs, given the 1,300 MW target for new solar capacity.

Solar LA includes three components: customer solar programs, utility-owned solar program and large scale solar program. The goal of the customer solar programs is to install a total of 380 MW by 2020. The goal of the utility-owned solar program is to install a total of 400 MW of solar systems on rooftops, reservoirs and parking lots on city-owned property in the Los Angeles basin by 2014. The goal of the large scale solar program is to install a total of 500 MW owned by the LADWP outside of the LA basin by 2020.

Solar LA is expected to utilize a variety of tax incentives and other means to support the investment. LADWP is exploring ways to expand its existing loan program to offer low interest loans to residential customers in an effort to make solar installations more affordable for more customers. Currently, LADWP offers low interest loans to commercial customers for utility infrastructure improvements, including energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations. At present, these loans are being extended for up to 10-year terms at interest rates between 5 and 6 percent.

With respect to the utility-owned solar program, these solar energy systems would be installed, owned, operated and maintained by LADWP except as required to take advantage of federal tax subsidies.

According to the plan, large-scale plants to be developed outside of the Los Angeles basin will likely be developed in response to Request for Proposals (RFPs) that offer long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to third-party solar developers that can take advantage of tax subsidies. The PPAs will include options for LADWP to acquire the plants after the tax benefits have been monetized, which is typically eight years after commercial operation.

California passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program that requires utilities to increase their electric supply procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by one percent of load per year, with a 20 percent renewables target by the end of 2010 and a 33 percent target by the end of 2020.
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